Zipcar taps Holmes as first corporate communications director

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Zipcar has hired Justin Holmes as director of corporate communications, a newly created role.

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Zipcar has hired Justin Holmes as director of corporate communications, a newly created role.

Holmes started in the role last week. He is reporting to the company’s CMO, Brian Harrington, who joined Zipcar last year. Holmes is managing four staffers: a PR manager, two PR specialists, and one full-time university co-op student.

Prior to Holmes’ appointment, John Williams, founder and president of Scoville Public Relations, handled the director of corporate comms responsibilities for the company, along with several Zipcar staffers. Williams said he will continue working with Zipcar as a strategic adviser.

Holmes is overseeing the development and implementation of Zipcar’s corporate communications strategy and making sure it aligns with the company’s overall marketing and business objectives. In addition, he is responsible for all external communications that foster favorable relationships with Zipcar and its members, cities, universities, and residential buildings, along with the company’s other partners, Holmes said.

"Zipcar’s foundation has been built through successful relationships and partnerships with various cities," Holmes explained, adding that Zipcar operates in 27 major metro markets in the US, Canada, the UK, Spain, and Austria. "I am here to continue to expand on those partnerships in particular with cities and with all of our stakeholders."

Holmes said he intends to build on his experience with PR, public affairs, and policy by introducing a public affairs and government affairs strategy focused on Zipcar’s relationship with policymakers. Its goal will be to help inform their brand awareness and make the company’s business model more successful.

Prior to joining Zipcar, Holmes was interim chief information officer for the city of Boston. He took on that role at the same time Martin Walsh took office as Boston’s Mayor in January. While in the position, Holmes oversaw the department of innovation and technology, a team of 135 staffers. He left the role earlier this month and was succeeded by Jascha Franklin-Hodge.

Before that, Holmes served as director of constituent engagement for the city of Boston, director of government relations for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, and chief of policy and communications for Boston City Council President Maureen Feeney.

Earlier in his career, Holmes was director of communications for Boston College High School and communications officer for Franciscans International.

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